This summer I wanted to try to drastically cut down the number of fizzy drinks in favour of something either more water-like or perhaps make my own refreshing drinks. So for the past few weeks, I’ve been looking at various recipes to quench that thirst*
After a lot of researching I decided to make some berry syrups in three slightly different ways and, hopefully, you’ll love them as much as I do.
Almost all the methods have the same ingredients, it just depends on how you want to prepare it and if you want to use sugar. For these I decided to use brown sugar because I like the flavour it gives but it’s honestly up to you. If you don’t like brown sugar or are trying to completely eliminate sugar from your diet, you can use xylitol, maple syrup, honey, coconut sugar or raw honey, but you might have to use a different amount than I have written, it just depends on the sweetness of the ingredient and your preference.
All recipes are down the bottom!
First Method: Whack It Into a Blender and Blend
Technically more like a sauce than syrup, this is good if you can’t or don’t want to boil your fruit for one reason or another, or you just want to do something quickly… or you don’t trust yourself. Trust me, if I can work with boiling sugar, anyone can, but if it scares you, this is an alternative just for you!
I don’t have a blender so I rely on my NutriBullet where I have to make smaller batches, but if you do have a blender, go ahead and make more.
As you can see above, for this one, I used frozen raspberries, brown sugar and hot water. The hot water is needed to warm up those frozen berries but help dissolve that sugar. Doing this all with cold water just doesn’t blend everything as well and if you’re using a NutriBullet, let’s everything freeze to the sides as you’re trying to blend everything. Boiling water is even better if your blender can take it, but hot water is fine.
Also a spoiler alert! Raspberries have a lot of stupid seeds! I found this out when straining and, oh, how much fun that was! Because you’ll be working with colder, thicker ingredients, straining them is so much fun! Have oodles of fun doing that! If you can, make it easier on yourself and use a container or jar with a wide opening so you can pour bigger batches in and mash it through. I actually started using bowls and discarding smooshed pulp into a bowl, which I use again later.
Like I said before, this has less of a syrup look and more thick n’ saucy, which you could actually use this as a coulis or something too.
Since I had some mineral water on standby and… ugh, tonic water, honestly, if you love either of these two things, kudo to you, man. Anyway, tried the syrup with both and I actually enjoyed it with the mineral water, and it even made the tonic water a bit more.. okay.. I added another tablespoon to the smallest taste-testing glass too.
Other than that, I was so happy with how this one turned out.
Second Method: Whack It Into A Pot and Boil
This was actually the first method I tried and I was curious about how whacking everything into a pot would go and how using maple syrup might eliminate the sugar-dissolving issue (also, I really love maple syrup).
Like the title suggests, I put whacked everything in (blackberries this time, maple syrup and water) in a put, put it on high and waited for it to start to boil. Once it was starting to boil and turned it down to low to simmer as I mashed it with a potato masher. A fork is actually better because it can mash the fruit finer, however, if you have a high-wall pot like I did, a potato masher will be your friend. After mashing it was straining time which was a bit easier because it was hot liquid but there was still more squishing pulp for eternity but I combined the pulp with the raspberry one for the last method.
Tastewise, this was pretty tart-y so I did add a teaspoon of maple to it afterwards which gave it a smooth, unique flavour.
Third Method: The Traditional Way
The last method I tried was the traditional and most popular way of making drinking syrup where you combine water and sugar first, let the sugar dissolve, then let the mix start to boil before adding the fruit and any other extras in.
The only non-traditional thing I did was use the pulp from the other methods as I wanted to get as much of the leftover juice as I could.
After it came to a boil I once again turned the heat down to simmer and mashed it down, however, this time I let it simmer for a few minutes in the pot instead of immediately starting to start. I wanted to get as much of the fruit broken down into liquid form.
Back again to straining we go and using a glass container was.. wow, just sometimes it’s the little things in life that bring you joy, and I was so happy to have that glass container.
Anyway, like the other times before, I discarded the pulp into a mug and left it to cool before discarding.
The berry blend was really nice, I can definitely see this one being a go-to on those stupidly hot days, with a whole iceberg planted in it. It even made my tonic water taste more okayish!
To be honest they were all easy to make but since I was doing three, trying not to make a mess and frantically writing notes for this post, I am fine with not making this for a few weeks. My favourite is a tie between the berry mix because it had different flavours, and the raspberry one because of the thicker consistency packed a lot of that raspberry flavour.
Also, these syrups will be good for about 5 days in the fridge and you only need a few tablespoons each serve, so while they don’t look like enough, this is perfect for me and you or your family.
Easy Raspberry Syrup
2 cups raspberries
1/4 cup brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice, add little at a time to get to preference)
1/4 cup hot or boiling water
- Combine water and sugar and blend/stir until dissolved.
- Add fruit and blend until smooth
- Strain into a glass container, bowl or jar, discarding pulp.
- Spoon over ice and serve with gross fizzy water of your choice.. or just normal water.
Whack It Into A Pot Blackberry Syrup
2 cups blackberries
3 tbs maple syrup/ sweetener of your choice
6 tbs water
- Combine ingredients into pot and turn stove to high. Stir ingredients as it heats
- Once boiling turn to low to simmer and mash berries.
- Take off heat and strain, spoon pulp into a mug or heatproof container and leave to cool before discarding.
- Either wait until cool or spoon over ice and serve
Traditional Style Berry Blend Syrup
1 cup blackberries
1 cup raspberries
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
- Combine water and sugar in pot and bring to high.
- Add fruit. If wanting to add anything else, do so now
- (Optional) Use the pulp from the other methods if desired.
- Once boiling turn the heat down to simmer and mash. Let simmer between 1 and 3 minutes.
- Take off heat and strain. Spoon pulp into a mug or heatproof container and leave to cool before discarding.
- Either wait until cool or spoon over ice and serve.
*At the time of writing this I had a headache/migraine wave for the second day in a row and hadn’t slept properly for about 15 years, but somehow even worse in the past 3 days.